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Students outside the United Nations during a climate change protest in New York, Sept. 6. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

School districts are debating what position to take after New York City announced that 1.1 million public school students could skip classes without penalties to join the global youth climate strikes Friday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the Times, this a test of the movement’s impact — by causing disruptions and getting noticed by political leaders who are in NYC for the United Nations Climate Action Summit 3 days later and the General Assembly meeting that follows it.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Organizers expect millions of people to leave work, home and school to take part in massive climate strike protests around the world.

The big picture: Youth strike advocates Fridays for Future said more than 2,400 events were taking place Sept. 20–27 to coincide with the UN climate summit on Sept. 23, where Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is due to make an address.

  • More than 115 countries and 1,000 cities have registered so far, the group said.
"All eyes are on the United States which already has 145 cities signed up, with participation that is expected to be tenfold when compared with the first two global strikes in March and May of this year."

What's happening in the U.S.: The Times reports that large districts around the U.S. were discussing on Monday afternoon the issue of whether to allow students to miss school for the strikes.

  • A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District told the NYT that officials were "still finalizing" plans. Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council members said they would discuss a motion on Tuesday to excuse students.

The other side: Critics, "ranging from climate-change deniers to people who argue for a less radical approach" to tackling global warming, "said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was using school attendance policy to promote a political aim," the NYT notes.

  • The New York Post’s editorial board called the move "out-and-out government sponsorship of a particular point of view." There was some concern that a few students could take advantage of the opportunity to skip school for fun, according to the Times.

Go deeper: The new social movement calling for action on climate

Go deeper

Mitch McConnell's remarks on Black voters raise ire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Capitol Hill news conference earlier this year. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been widely criticized for comments he made this week about Black American voters.

Driving the news: When asked by a reporter Wednesday about concerns among voters of color, McConnell said "the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, Black American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump’s friends worry legal pick for N.Y. case lacks experience

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Close associates and advisers to Donald Trump tell Axios they're concerned by his decision to use a relatively inexperienced New Jersey attorney, Alina Habba, in his high-stakes legal fight against New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Why it matters: A former president typically has access to the country's most prestigious experts, including lawyers. Trump has turned to the former general counsel for a parking garage company, who works from a small law office near his Bedminster, N.J., country club.

U.S. charges 4 Belarus officials with air piracy in journalist's arrest

A Boeing 737-8AS Ryanair passenger plane from Athens, Greece, that was diverted to Minsk, Belarus, in May. Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Thursday charged four Belarusian government officials with conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy as part of an operation to arrest a dissident Belarusian journalist.

Why it matters: Prosecutors say the officials fabricated a bomb threat aboard a Ryanair flight carrying the journalist Raman Pratasevich last May, forcing it to land in Minsk, Belarus instead.